Oops, he did it again! Justin Bieber. Image by JStone / Shutterstock.com
Oh my stars and garters you guys, Justin Bieber, the 19 year-old creator of monstrously bad pop “music” was arrested in Miami last week after being caught speeding (well, drag racing) and taking all manner of intoxicants (that underage clown). According to the Huffington Post, Bieber was charged with a DUI, but also he resisted arrest and gave the arresting officers some real dumb Bieber attitude. I guess we can say that the teen singer finally taught us something useful: never say, “What the fuck did I do?” to the police.
What’s far more interesting than lil’ Bieber’s arrest (the first of many, if I may posit as such) is the massive Internet comments war that’s been raging since the event. I actually first learned of Bieber’s altercation through a Facebook post that more or less said, Stop wishing that Justin Bieber be raped in jail! As it turns out, a whole bunch of folks really dislike the Beebs, and many of the comments on news sites included hopes that the dude drop the soap, as it were. I have to side with my FB friend on this one; wishing rape on someone, anyone, is not funny and extremely distasteful. Yes, Bieber may be a 19 year-old doofus with questionable songwriting tastes, but no one deserves being sexually violated.
A young man like Justin Bieber could learn a lot from a little jail time and community service, but the way the media continues to spin this is just publicity and may turn him into a badass (I’ll never think that, but there are enough people who will, and will follow his example). Correct disciplinary action could, with good journalists covering it, divert a few other bad seeds wanting to throw eggs at the neighbor’s house (“ OMG we want to be just like Justin!”).
Or we could have the situation in which popular consensus parallels him with Miley Cyrus.
Now, I am no Miley fan. Her music is also over-produced slop. But what gets her and the Beebs bad raps are by no means similar. Miley Cyrus wears little to no clothing (at times to challenge backwards cultural expectations) and smokes piles of weed. Bieber, on the other hand, drives under the influence (alcohol is illegal for minors in every state), takes prescription pills, spends inordinate amounts of money on strip clubs (apparently 75,000 singles in one night, says the media), and vandalizes stuff. Some Internet geniuses are trying to declare them the same person, demonstrating a double standard (that pop culture won’t let go away).
I doubt anyone would care all that much if Bieber were to strip down on stage (maybe he got milk on his hoodie?), but as soon as Miley gets sexual the Internet explodes. Tons of folks call Cyrus scandalous and gross, a bad influence on people, but the worst anyone could do following her influence would be to twerk (face it people, it’s the next great American art form, and I’m as unhappy as you are). Bieber’s dumb antics are infectiously terrible for anyone paying attention. Really, he could have gotten himself killed, not too long after Paul Walker died at the wheel (and the Internet would have been sickeningly into that).
So yeah, offhandedly or maliciously commenting that Bieber should be raped in prison, or physically punished for his actions, suggests the same attitude toward Cyrus, whose only fault is an awareness of how influential her butt is (and an assault and battery charge, but I think that was a different circumstance). The universal attitude toward pop stars really has to undergo a renovation – we’re wishing a whole lot of harm and saying really unforgivable things about people we don’t know, where at least we could be discussing the music (pop stars will continue to be ridiculous, so let’s just grimace at their music and simply walk away). Don’t let the image factory keep fueling the gross discourse and subsequently using it, that´s what they want!